Frank Cuypers

Founder at Place Generation


Frank is a thought-leader in place branding and marketing. For the previous eight years in his extensive career, he was associated with the Canadian company Destination Think. Frank has detailed knowledge about the management and marketing of places worldwide and speaks fluent English, Dutch, German and French. He was a trusted advisor in urban policy for the city of Antwerp in Belgium for five years on city marketing, cultural policy and tourism approaches. Before that he worked as a change management consultant for the French company Möbius. He personally led and transformed the international department of Visit Flanders, the DMO for the Flemish region of Belgium, where he co-wrote their marketing strategy and overall strategy.

Frank won in 2020 the Place Brand of the year award by the City Nation Place global congress in London for his rebrand of Auckland, New Zealand. He has also advised and worked intensively in and with the cities of Calgary, Montréal, Vancouver, Stratford (Ontario), Ottawa, Cleveland, Portland, Toronto, Kelowna, New Orleans, Aspen, Grand Junction, Seoul, Shanghai, Kristiansand, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Munich, Prague, Queenstown, Tauranga, Tallin, Turku and Newcastle but also regional DMO’s like British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Queensland, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Hawaï, West Australia, Bay of Plenty, Elkhart County, provinces of Limburg  and Gelderland or national ones as Slovenia, Fiji, England, Japan, Estonia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, South Africa, Singapore, Zambia, The Netherlands and Malawi on modern destination development approaches. 

Frank has written a tourism marketing strategy for the European Commission in 2016 which he has been asked to do again in 2022 and is now being published.  He is a trusted advisor of the city of Ottawa and partners with CityDNA and Simpleview in the VivaCITY project. He is a well sought speaker and has done keynotes on five continents in more than eighty places.  

Frank founded Toponaut, a company that thinks about the science of places with a laser focus on cities, his main field of research. He invented a new strategic methodology which is called strategy safari and created new marketing research products of which Place DNA® (licensed by Destination Think) and passionography are the most known one. With his marketing students he started the research project Why Your City which was a worldwide project around city identity. Frank is acting as a strategic marketing planning advisor for the World Bank in Malawi and works for the Flemish NGO Exchange as a marketing advisor.